All Lichfields employees have the right to be treated with dignity and respect by their colleagues and, as such, the company is committed to providing a working environment free of any discrimination or harassment. Harassment, bullying and/or victimisation detracts from a productive working environment and can affect the health, confidence, morale and performance of those affected by it, including anyone who witnesses or has knowledge of the unwanted behaviour. Harassment, bullying and/or victimisation is unacceptable. Lichfields has a legal duty to protect its staff. The Equality Act 2010 legally protects you from discrimination on the grounds of your age, being (or becoming) a transsexual person, being married or in a civil partnership, being pregnant or having a child, if you have a disability, your race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin, your religion, belief or lack of religion/belief, your sex or sexual orientation. These are known as protective characteristics.
The act also includes anyone associated with you who has a protected characteristic, or if you have raised a complaint about discrimination on behalf of someone else or supported their claim.
Discrimination can be:
- Direct - treating someone with a protected characteristic less favourably than others; or
- Indirect - putting rules or arrangements in place which apply to everyone, but put someone with a protected characteristic at an unfair disadvantage.
Harassment is unwanted behaviour linked to a protected characteristic which violates someone’s dignity or creates an offensive environment for them. It can take a variety of different forms and can be written, verbal, nonverbal or transmitted electronically. Examples include repeatedly ignoring a colleague through to subjecting him or her to unwelcome attention, ridicule or humiliation. More extreme forms of harassment and bullying include intimidation, physical threats or violence. Harassment may consist of a single incident or a series of incidents and may not always be directed to or be about the person who makes a complaint of harassment. Harassment may not always be intentional, but is always unacceptable whether intentional or not.
Bullying is the exercise of power over another person through persistent, negative acts or behaviour which undermines an individual, personally and/or professionally. Bullying can be threatening, insulting, abusive, disparaging or intimidating behaviour placing inappropriate pressure on the recipient which can affect self-confidence and self-esteem or has the effect of isolating or excluding them. Bullying can take the form of persistent shouting, sarcasm or derogatory remarks; it can be constant criticism, without constructive support, to assist a member of staff to address performance concerns; it may also include cyber bullying, i.e. using the internet and related technologies to harm another person in a deliberate, repeated and hostile manner.
Lichfields will not tolerate victimisation against a member of staff because he or she has made, or intends to make, a complaint or allegation, or has given, or intends to give, assistance and/or evidence in an investigation. The Company will also not tolerate victimisation or discrimination against staff who have left Lichfields; for example, by refusing to give a reference because the person has made a genuine complaint.
You are not to engage in or knowingly permit any fellow worker to engage in any discriminating, harassing, or bullying behaviours in the course of your duties.
It is a contractual requirement that you adhere to the above. Any breaches will be dealt with through the disciplinary procedure. For more information please contact the HR Manager.
If you witness or become aware of any abuses of this policy, please advise your Manager and/or HR Manager, so a confidential and full investigation can take place with immediate effect.